Clinical OMICS

MAY-JUN 2019

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

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4 Clinical OMICs May/June 2019 News Evotec, Indivumed Partner on Precision Medicine for Colorectal Cancer Evotec and Indivumed announced a two- year partnership to develop new preci- sion therapeutics for colorectal cancer (CRC) that will use Evotec's PanHunter bioinformatics analysis platform and its small molecule and antibody discovery platforms alongside the CRC cohort of In- divumed's IndivuType global multi-omics cancer database. "The access to IndivuType will allow us to identify targets that are matched to CRC subpopulations which have been categorized due to molecular pheno- types and are thus expected to deliver more effective and durable drugs," Evo- tec CSO Cord Dohrmann, Ph.D., said in a statement. Evotec has made an undisclosed up- front payment to Indivumed for access to the CRC patient cohort of the IndivuType database. Both com- panies have agreed to jointly invest in data analysis, target identi- fication, validation, and drug discovery. Evotec has agreed to oversee subsequent partnering of the programs and/or the platform. "Our partnership with Evotec fits well with realizing our vision of using the multi-omics data within Indivu- Type to generate new precision medicine therapeutics," added Indivumed founder and CEO Prof. Hartmut Juhl, M.D., Ph.D. n New Method Detects Off-Target CRISPR Effects CRISPR-Cas9 technology has been plagued by the possibility of off-target effects. Now an international team of researchers has developed a new universally applicable approach for unbiased off-target identification. Named DISCOVER-Seq, it leverages the recruitment of DNA repair factors in cells and organisms. "When CRISPR makes a cut, the DNA is broken," said Beeke Wienert, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher at the Innovative Genomics Institute and first author on the paper "Unbiased detection of CRISPR off-targets in vivo using DISCOVER-Seq" published in Science. "So, in order to survive, the cell recruits many different DNA repair factors to that particular site in the genome to fix the break and join the cut ends back together. We thought that if we could find the locations of these DNA repair factors, we could identify the sites that have been cut by CRISPR." DISCOVER-Seq works with multiple guide RNA formats and types of Cas en- zymes. Off-targets can be identified in cell lines and patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells and during adeno- viral editing of mice, paving the way for in situ off-target discovery within individual patient genotypes during therapeutic ge- nome editing. n SHUBHANGI GANESHRAO KENE / Science Photo Library / Getty Images Study of Feasibility of AI Platform for Blood Cancer Precision Treatments Released A Stanford Medical Center study on the feasibility of providing patients with Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) has demonstrated the feasibility of person- alized treatment plans based on blood cancer samples. The study, supported by AI platform developer Notable, com- prised 20 patients with MDS with a goal of developing individualized treatment regimens within 30 days. The report findings showed that all 20 patients were delivered a personal- ized treatment plan based on the testing results. Interim clinical data demonstrated both positive and negative predictive value averag- ing 84 percent. "Notable Lab's ex vivo drug sensitivity assay screened marrow samples we sent them from patients in our recent biolog- ically focused feasibility trial against a collection of investigational and FDA-ap- proved compounds. These patients had higher risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and were refractory to standard therapy," said Peter Greenberg, M.D., pro- fessor of Medicine (Hematology) and di- rector, Stanford MDS Center. "Potentially actionable therapeutic results were re- turned to us for the patients enrolled in our trial within a clinically ac- tionable time frame." n vchal / iStock / Getty Images Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images

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